After a car accident, you are probably worrying about if your insurance premiums will increase. Thankfully, a crash doesn’t automatically cause an increase in your insurance rates. In fact, insurance companies in New York are prohibited from raising your insurance rates under certain circumstances.
You can talk with one of the Syracuse car accident lawyers at Catalano Law to learn about your legal options if you or a loved one was injured in a car accident.
Insurance companies in New York state are prohibited from increasing customers’ monthly premiums under these conditions:
- Your accident caused less than $2,000 of property damage
- There were no injuries from the accident
- There was no crash, but you were convicted of a traffic violation
However, your insurance rates may increase for accidents resulting in bodily injuries or if you had more than one accident within your insurance policy period.
While your rates can’t increase mid-policy period because of a traffic conviction, it can increase if you were convicted of a traffic violation in the three years prior to your policy’s effective date. While not all convictions apply, the following can cause an increase in your insurance rates:
- Driving more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Reckless driving or speeding resulting in injury or death
- Leaving the scene of an accident without filing a police report
- Submitting a false document or getting a license or registration using a false document with the Department of Motor Vehicles
- Driving a motor vehicle in a race or speed test
- Allowing an unlicensed driver to drive a vehicle
- Driving a vehicle with no valid license or registration
- Temporary suspension of a license due to an ongoing hearing, prosecution, or investigation
- Driving a commercial vehicle for work using non-commercial auto insurance, unless the insured person caused a crash intentionally or through gross negligence
Since New York state is a no-fault state, your own insurance pays for your medical bills and up to 80% of your lost wages (capped at $2,000 per month), regardless of who was at fault. However, there are two situations where you can sue the at-fault party:
- Someone other than the at-fault party has injuries exceeding the state’s no-fault threshold of damages over $50,000
- The victim has serious injuries under New York State Insurance Law, such as a significant disfigurement, fracture, loss of an unborn child, or a permanent loss of a body part or organ function
The at-fault party’s driver insurance rates will typically increase because of the injuries sustained from the accident.
If you have a car registered in New York, you’re required to purchase New York State liability insurance from a provider in New York. All drivers should carry minimum liability coverage of:
- $10,000 for single collision property damage
- $25,000 for single bodily injury, $50,000 for bodily injury to two or more persons
- $50,000 for a single fatality, $100,000 for two or more fatalities
There are consequences for failing to carry adequate liability coverage in New York, including license suspension and suspension of your vehicle registration.
When you or a loved one are in a car accident with serious injuries or property damage, you may demand compensation from the at-fault party without having to reply only on your own insurance coverage. We can discuss your legal options, including filing a lawsuit, when you request a free case consultation at Catalano Law.
In the state of New York, you may also sue the other party for pain and suffering when you have a serious injury. Aside from physical injuries resulting in dismemberment or disfigurement, a serious injury eligible for pain and suffering compensation can be medically determined.
It must have prevented you from participating in basic daily tasks for at least 90 days during the first 180 days following the injury or impairment.
You may also sue the at-fault party’s insurance company for property damage and other economic damages not covered or exceeding your insurance coverage. Your lawyer can help you establish who is at fault by looking at the circumstances of the accident and the actions leading to it.
We have a proven track record of winning car accident cases for our clients at Catalano Law. Some of our successful verdicts include:
- $2.3 million for the wrongful death of a father of three children
- $950,000 for a woman injured in a head-on collision